We have been continuing on with our travels.
We left Nyngan yesterday morning after once again marvelling at the beauty of the river beside our campsite.
Whereas we had only seen two pelicans the previous day, we saw a group of nine, with just about as many shags in the same group. There must have been a good school of fish in the area. It was a lovely sight before we hit the road.
We noticed that the earth was decidedly red from then on, and the skies a lovely blue. True outback colours.
Our travels continued west, to Cobar.
After visiting the Heritage Centre we went for a walk up the main street. I had to check out the quilt shop, seeing I had heard so much of it. Boy, do they have a great range, including heaps of precuts. I just came away with another low volume fat quarter.
This shopfront has stood the test of time well and still houses a butchery.
The Great Western Hotel boasts the longest iron lace verandah in the state.
There is a park with a collection of mining artifacts.
We saw a sight to Fort Bourke Lookout, so, as we had time, we headed on up. Once there we were glad there weren't other caravans there as well, as there wasn't a great deal of room to maneuver. We weren't sure what we were going to see until we actually got to the viewing platform. Wow! that is one heck of a hole. Not as big as the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie, but big enough. Can you see the grader half way up the road. That is a normal sized grader, so it gives you a bit of an idea of scale.
Apparently, all the current workings, including workshops are underground, all accessed by the entrance you can see at the bottom of the pit.
Once we had finished having a look around Cobar we once again continued west. We started to notice a lot of feral goats by the road. On the whole they seemed to have pretty good road sense, except for this little one who decided to cross in front of us.
Our destination for the night was the Meadow Glen Rest Area, about 65kms west of Cobar. It is a popular free camping site. Mick has camped here in his tent once before.
We arrived nice and early, so were able to select a nice spot among the trees.
Mick was also able to test run his new fire pit. It is just some scrap stainless mesh, add a few stainless hinges so that it folds flat for storage. He then fed a couple of threaded rods through the mesh and placed a nut on each end, before sitting a further sheet of mesh on the rods. A nice, transportable fire pit. It worked treat. I even started reading one of the books I bought at the Molong markets.
There was no phone or internet available so no blogging, just lots of reading.
Here is a better view of the rest area. There is a tarmac area at the front with loos. This morning we got ourselves organised and back on the road fairly early.
Today was a day of watching the landscape change. Just subtle changes in the vegetation.
Seeing the occasional tree festooned in undies, or bras, or stuffed toys, or TVs and computer monitors, shoes, CDs. You name it, they were there.
The road seemed to go on for ever.
Sometimes there was next to no vegetation, just grasses on floodplain areas.
By morning tea time we had reached the Darling River town of Wilcannia. We have commented that they need a coffee shop near the little park. Well, there now is one. Very welcome it was too. They even had a book exchange, so Mick did a swap over.
We had a quick wabble tour around the town. It is such a sad place. There are wonderful old sandstone buildings from the time it was Australia's largest inland port, but sadly many are now empty. We came across the original Convent. What a wonderful building, but falling down. Some conservation work has taken place, but lots more needs doing.
We started to see a few clouds forming in the distance.
Quite a few windmills could be seen in the distance.
So much nothing out there. Imagine what it must have been like for the pioneers.
You may think this a strange photo, but the roadside rest areas are fantastic. They all have a rubbish bin and many have composting loos, most larger than this one. The best thing is that all the ones we have encountered have been clean, had paper and not been smelly. Someone does a great job at maintaining them in such remote locations. The roadsides are also surprisingly void of litter.
While keeping it real, there has been loads of roadkill since leaving Cobar, and consequently, loads of crows.
We stopped at one rest area and this buck posed so nicely for me.
After we had our lunch, we noticed that the sky was now completely grey. We didn't encounter any rain while on the road, but as soon as we started to set up camp in the caravan park in Broken Hill we started to get a few spots of rain.
We have booked in here for three nights. It is now raining steadily. Tomorrow is forecast to be cold and wet, so we have booked a morning tour of the town in a little bus. I'm hoping we may get to see a nice sunset, for which the area is famous, but I won't hold my breath. It is so much better to have the rain, as it is very dry here at the moment, like most of western NSW.
We will enjoy having a look around here. The last time we did was in 1989. Any other visit has just been a quick overnight stopover. I wondered why we hadn't seen so many of the main attractions. Upon reading the tourist brochure for the area I figured out why......they weren't even there back then. So, there is much to see this time, but we will still only scratch the surface.